Cats love chilling atop high places. Be it a window perch, shelf, the top of a wardrobe, you name it! They just love feeling like majestic kings, ruling over a bunch of servants! That’s one of the reasons why cat trees seem so appealing to them.
But as it turns out, cat trees provide way more than an elevated haven. They’re important for your cat’s health, behavior, and overall entertainment. How? That’s what I’ll discuss in this article! Let’s see why do cats like cat trees?
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Why Do Cats Like Cat Trees?
Felines are attracted to cat trees because it allows them to be high, play, run, and climb while observing the room from a safe place.
Cats in general love people, but there are times when they just want to get away from it all. Their cat tree makes it easy to get away from others, while still being a member of the family.
It’s Hardwired in Their Genes
As you might already know, the great ancestors of our domesticated cats used to live in the wild. The Proailurus, the first true cats, particularly live in dense rain forests. As hunters, these cats used their agility to climb trees. From there, they were able to plan the perfect pounces that didn’t leave a chance for their prey.
But cats didn’t play the role of fierce hunters all the time. Against stronger animals, they were forced to act like puny prey. But the fact that they had claws gave them a crucial advantage over other animals who couldn’t climb past 2–3 feet.
Although our lovely cats don’t encounter such situations anymore, this behavior was already hardwired into their genes. We can say that they primarily do it now just for fun.
Cat Trees Are Important in Cat Conflicts
If you have more than one cat in your home, you might be having a minute simulation of the hunter/prey situation. Some cats are born to be alphas; they naturally bully smaller cats for territory, food, or just for fun!
Bullied cats have no choice but to listen to their inner voice. They instantly sprint to the highest place where they can escape their enemy’s line of sight.
If you have an older cat, they will love having a secluded place they can get away from the young kittens or children. Here are some of the best cat trees for senior cats.
Cat Trees Act Like Small Gyms
I know what you’re probably thinking — unlike dogs, cats spend most of their time napping and relaxing. But just like us, regular exercise gives them bouts of happiness and positivity.
Getting a cat tree with multiple platforms can be more than perfect for this. On the way up, they get to work out the muscles of their hindquarters and back. And when it’s time to go down, they can practice their impeccable balance and coordination.
Cat Trees Are Fun to Scratch
Any cat owner knows that it’s pretty impossible to prevent scratching. Not only is it a way to exercise, but scratching also serves as a way to mark territory. As it turns out, cats spout their signature odor via small scent glands located in their paw pads. Additionally, the physical scratch marks present a clear warning to other animals.
Without a cat tree, your cat might feel threatened. In order to regain confidence, they may start scratching whatever comes their way, including your precious furniture!
Lucky for you, getting a cat tree with multiple sisal scratching posts will probably divert this behavior immediately. Thanks to its dense, rough fibers, sisal mimics tree bark, which was the ultimate favorite of the wild ancestors. Plus, its unmatched durability means that cats can scratch it over and over with little to no damage.
Cat Trees Can Quickly Introduce Cats to a New Home
If you’ve recently adopted a rescue cat, chances are he’ll be super timid at first. Introducing a cat tree can present a quick solution that encourages him to stay in the open for longer periods.
Why? Again, this has to do with ancestral behavior. Sitting on elevated perches gives the cat a visual advantage — he can see any lurking danger well before it gets too close. Also, since cat trees are often placed in corners, he can be 100% certain that nothing can creep up on him from behind.
Cat Trees Usually Have Toys
Nowadays, almost all cat trees come with all sorts of fun toys. Some models have furry balls dangling by elastic bands. Others have hollow balls that contain clackers. And to encourage the hunting instincts more, some trees replace the balls with small mouse dolls.
More elaborate trees come with a toy called “busy box”. As the name implies, this box engages the cat’s IQ by enticing him to curiously discover what’s hiding inside. You can hide all sorts of things there; be it balls, catnip, treats, you name it!
The thing that makes these toys unique is that they don’t require you to be there — cats can play with them anytime. That’s one of the reasons that make cat trees absolutely essential for folks who spend most of their time working.
Bonus: Where Should You Put Your Cat Tree?
Although cats generally like cat trees, you might find yours inexplicably refusing to use it. In that case, you should reconsider its placement. You may also want to see if you can uncover why your cat isn’t using its cat tree.
At first, the cat tree should be placed where your cat spends most of his time. This should encourage him to start using it faster since it became an essential part of his territory.
If possible, try placing the tree next to a window. That way, your cat can spend hours gazing at the birds and passers-by. Also, this position should let him bask in the sun if he feels like it.
If your cat belongs to the social type, you should consider putting the tree in the room where the family spends most of the time. Likewise, timid cats would prefer secluded areas where they can nap in peace.
To Sum Up
To sum it up, cats generally like staying in high areas where they can keep tabs on whatever happens around them. If you get a tree with sisal scratching posts, this will encourage your cats to give your furniture a much-deserved break!
In some cases, a cat might climb the cat tree if he’s being bullied by one of your other cats. Having that extended territory should help your cats get along faster.
And lastly, large cat trees provide a space where your cats can train their muscles and minds. This gets especially important for people who are too busy to spend quality playtime with their cats.